Monday, July 29, 2013

My Antonia - classic

A classic story that tells of a family of farmers moving to Nebraska to start a new life. Young Jim Burden is on the same train as the immigrants. He's coming to live with his grandparents after his parents's death.

Jim is the narrator and in the Shimerda's we learn of the difficulties a family faces living in an area where no one speaks the language. The only person with a close resemblance to their language, takes advantage of them.

Antonia Shimerda is a teenager and yet she seems to have the common sense that helps the family through difficult situations. She and Jim build a friendship that lasts throughout the novel.

The story is told in five books that detail the early days on the prairie and continuing until Jim returns to town as a professional and visits Antonia and her family.

The elements that help classify the novel as a classic include the descriptions of life in Nebraska, the treatment that some immigrants received in farming communities and the descriptions of the land. We also explore family relationships and see how two teenagers can overcome obstacles and, as friends, while helping their families.

As this was told to the reader in five stories, some of which the author had written as independent pieces and descriptions of the west.

This was my second reading of the book. The first reading was as a student but in my retirement age, this reading was very enjoyable.

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